- A map idea
- Knowledge about the editor, because doodads sometime behave a bit quirky and "disappear"
- Experience with a layered image editing program (GIMP or Photoshop)
- Photoshop with DDS Converter from Nvidia or
GIMP with DDS plugin from http://code.google.com/p/gimp-dds/
Mac OS X:
- GIMP with DDS plugin (http://code.google.com/p/gimp-dds/)
Needs compiling on Mac OS X and a lot of libraries installed which will take a lot of time on the mac as they are not natively installed.
I'd recommend using VirtualBox with an Ubuntu image and then install the libgimp2.0-dev package via Synaptic package manager and then compile the library — that is what I did.
Or use a windows computer (or installation) to do it.
I WON'T help in these areas:
- Problems compiling the GIMP plugin, i might clarify a bit however
- Acquiring an Ubuntu image or installing GIMP or VirtualBox
- Usage of operating systems
Creating the first concept
First of all you need to have an idea about the map you wish to make. This is even more important than when making 2 and 4 player maps, as you can always mirror or copy and paste on them.
On a 3 player map you don't have that opportunity as everything is rotated 120 degrees, which does not mesh well with the editor's limitation of rotating things a multiple of 90 degrees.
For those who have read a bit about — or attempted — to create a map which is rotated 45 degrees already know about the headaches that this limitation imposes.
So just to warn you if you do not have an idea for a map, just DON'T BOTHER STARTING with making a 3 player map unless you manage to draw something which you feel is nice.
First, what you want is a template into which you can draw your concept. This template should generally consist of at least three lines from the center of the map with an angle of 120 degrees between them. This is easily accomplished in Photoshop or GIMP using the Transform tool, as you can enter degrees into it directly.
You might also want to add center lines to the template (same lines as before, just rotated 60 degrees and in a different colour), as they will make it a lot easier to try making the concept positionally balanced.
HQ variant which you can download
So now we have our template, let's start drawing stuff!
Create a new layer, this is almost a must, as you want to separate the map concept from the template lines and background (because you don't want to rotate the lines, just the map concept), then you start drawing the contents of one of the 120 degree slices.
Keep in mind that you will duplicate this and rotate it, as you can't mirror the slices in a 3 player map.
Another important thing to consider is to not making the proportions too large, you can only enlarge the image to cover 140x140 approximately (I think).
When you think you have come a bit on the way towards something looking like a layout, copy the layer and then rotate it into the other slice. Repeat for the 3rd slice.
This to make it easier to see where you're going, repeat this as many times as necessary.
Repeat until you have something looking good!
Now what I have done is to colour the different height layers. I've used a translucent brush on three separate layer to achieve this effect:
Now we have something which is looking like a proper map concept!
What you now need to do is to cut the image into 4 pieces, one for each quadrant of the image.
These should then be saved as DDS files using BC3/DXT5 compression (that was what I used and it worked fine).
The filenames you should use are:decalhazard00_diffuse.dds, decalhazard01_diffuse.dds, decalhazard02_diffuse.dds and decalhazard03_diffuse.dds
Getting the image into the Map Editor
Now, open the map editor and create a new blank map. Do not change any terrain, if you do that the temporary doodads won't show correctly.
Import the images using the import tool and then move them to Assets\Textures:
Save the map in the editor and then do File->Close and then open the map again.
Open up the data editor, and go into the Models tab:
Search for decal, and select the Decal model. Then click on the Decal actor in the panel in the lower left of the window. Set the Art - Scale to 23 (this is apparently the largest number working for scaling doodads).
Close it and save.
Now, create 4 instances of the Decal doodad and set them to use the following variations: 15, 16, 17 and 23.
Now you should see parts of your map concept. If not, try changing the variations between a few different numbers, try restarting the editor, check filenames for the imported files, change scaling factor on the doodads and Art - Scale and finally try creating a new map file.
Change the scaling an positioning (300% is max scaling in the doodad window) of your doodads until they line up properly and cover the desired portion of the map.
TRY WITH MINERALS AND GAS AND SEE THAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN THE SCALE RIGHT!!!
Now when you have gotten the doodads into the editor, let's move onto drawing cliffs!
Tips on painting cliff levels
Start with the highest level of cliffs, as you will obscure your doodad when you raise cliffs. So do this directly with +2 levels as you don't want to mix level 2 and 3.
Narrow ramps (like on mains) should only be diagonal (because of sentries and wall-offs), and this will affect the balance of the map. You WILL need to tweak this a lot.
Use the building placement grid and measure distances for chokes and so on to make sure that no spawn will get an unfair advantage.
Use the map analyzer regularly when you've come so far that you can add spawns and have them connected by ramps.
Result of the example
This is a map I will probably continue and test and work on until april. Nothing is definite, and I will create a map thread for it soon, but suggestions are nevertheless welcome!